Have you ever wondered what Jesus did as a young boy? The story of Christ's childhood has never before been told on television. Filmed on location in Tunisia, the Italian TV production A Child Called Jesus, mixes scripture with speculation. It attempts to fill in the "missing years" of Jesus, from ages 3 through 12. The events narrated in the film all took place in the same year and tell the dramatic story of a family forced to leave their home in Bethlehem to escape the persecution of Herod the Great. When King Herod, fearing that the Messiah has indeed been born, orders that all Hebrew male children under the age of three be slain, Joseph moves his family near Egypt. Here, Jesus, sensing his divinity, expresses a desire to return to Nazareth. Traveling homeward with his mother Mary, Jesus flashes forward to events that will unfold in his adult life. Set against the background of the war between the Romans and the Zealots, the story gains its real inspiration from everyday family life. Be moved by the tender love of Mary for her child and the strong bond between Joseph and the boy Jesus. Though obviously in a spiritual dimension of his own, Jesus is portrayed as a seven-year-old child just like any other: He fights with his friends over a few dates, his mind wanders at school and he asks the usual childish questions. After making its debut in Italy, Germany and France, A Child Called Jesus was syndicated to American TV stations during the last week of November in 1989. Directed by Franco Rossi (Quo Vadis?, Odissea) and well-produced with beautiful photography, it earned high ratings in America and Europe, receiving favourable praise from the Vatican, winning an international Emmy Award.
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